The Historical Phonology of Manchu Dialects
THE HISTORICAL PHONOLOGY OF MANCHU DIALECTS Andrew Jonathan Joseph, Ph. D. Cornell University 2018 This dissertation investigates and compares the phonological systems of ten varieties of Manchu, covering the standard Written Manchu language and all attested major dialects, including Sibe and Jurchen. This dissertation sets out a comprehensive overview of segmental correspondences among these ten varieties, identifying the major sound changes and determining isoglosses, with the combined aims of elucidating the historical development and internal structure of the Manchu branch of the Tungusic family and deducing the key segmental phonological properties of the hypothesized common ancestor of the Manchu branch. Chapter 1 provides background information on the Manchu language and its dialects, describing the linguistic ecology and providing a brief grammatical sketch of Written Manchu, as preliminaries to the remainder of the dissertation. Chapter 2 is devoted to consonantal phonology, presenting segmental inventories and describing all major consonantal sound changes. The primary focus is on weakening processes, but important mergers and splits are also discussed. Chapter 3 adopts a similar approach to vowel phonology, concentrating on assimilatory and reductive processes. Chapter 4 investigates the prosody of a single well-described dialect, Ilan Boo Manchu (aka Sanjiazi Manchu). After presenting the basic facts concerning the location of word stress and the related phenomena of vowel lengthening and syncope, the chapter concludes with a formal analysis in the framework of Optimality Theory. Special attention is given to the role of sonority in the assignment of stress. Chapter 5 concludes the dissertation with a discussion of the findings of the preceding chapters. This chapter interprets the principal isoglosses and proposes a cladistic classification of the internal structure of the Manchu branch. Lastly, this chapter reviews the many unresolved problems encountered in preceding chapters and suggests avenues for future research.
Asian studies; comparative linguistics; historical linguistics; Manchu; Language; phonology; Linguistics
Zec, Draga; Cohn, Abigail C.; Mei, Tsu-Lin
Ph. D., Linguistics
Doctor of Philosophy
dissertation or thesis